Colonel Vorgath is the third boss encounter in Operation: Explosive Conflict, after Toth & Zorn and Firebrand & Stormcaller. As befits the right-hand man of Warlord Kephess himself, Colonel Vorgath is as deadly as he is shrewd. This is a unique boss fight, in that it is as much an intellectual challenge as it is a test of martial skill. For inside intelligence on how to checkmate this tactical genius, hit the jump for our strategy on sending Colonel Vorgath packing.
For the eight-man version of this encounter, this guide recommends the use of two tanks, two healers and four DPS. For the sixteen-man version, we recommend two tanks, four healers and ten DPS. Technically, this specific encounter only requires a single tank. However, if you have followed our previous guides you will have at least two tanks, so adjust as necessary.
Colonel Vorgath is unique, as his is the first boss encounter in Operation: Explosive Conflict that is largely a puzzle. Your Operations group will be split into two unequal elements: one player up in an overwatch tower uncovering a deadly minefield, with the rest of your group on the ground, moving forward as the tower-assigned player reveals the map. The player assigned to reveal the map will almost always be a tank, though a well-geared DPS may have success. For the purposes of this guide, however, we recommend using a tank.
Phase One: Minesweeping
To begin, all of your Operations group members will jump down from the ledge, while the player assigned to reveal the map will head up the elevator at the area’s start. The larger group should be mindful of the space ahead of them and remain behind the sandbags on the field until the solver has revealed a green square to stand in. After one has been revealed, all players on the ground should move forward together into this square, being careful not to stray outside of its boundaries. If anyone steps outside of a square that is anything but green, they will detonate a mine and instantly die.
Up top, your solver will begin working through the puzzle of the minefield. This is accomplished via a rectangular console, featuring a miniature version of the field below. Each square is clickable and requires a fair amount of dexterity to click accurately.
A Defected Imperial Commander will periodically spawn in the tower, and the solver will need to kill them as quickly as possible. It is worth mentioning that some groups prefer to send more than one person up to the top for the first Commander. However, this can lead to confusion. The turrets along the side of the field will lightly auto-attack anyone in the tower that is not the solver, which the game determines as whoever is the first person to set foot in the tower. Unfortunately, this process is notoriously buggy. If the game ends up wrongly determining that the solver is someone other than who your group intend, you’ll be in for some serious trouble. For the first Defected Imperial Commander, a good alternative is to have a ranged DPS in the rear of the field quickly DoT up and help kill the Commander from a distance.
As squares are revealed in the tower, so they are revealed on the ground. A green square is automatically safe to move to. A red square is more complicated, requiring the use of a Probe Launcher. This ability is a seven-second channel, so plan ahead. It will transport the solver onto the ground as a hologram, where they will run around the field attempting to locate an Imperial Demolitions Drone using a conal sweep in front of their character.
These Drones are always on the sides of the field, spread evenly over the first 2/3 of the field or so. Once revealed, the Drone will appear and attack the group on the ground. At this time, the solver should return to the tower and continue to uncover the map.
On the ground, players will need to kill the Imperial Demolitions Drone as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that it does have a Cleave ability that can be interrupted. Cleave doesn't do a catastrophic amount of damage, but any damage that can be avoided should be.
Once the Drone has been defeated, a random player in the Operations group will be granted a Bomb Defusal Kit, which is essentially a ten-second buff that allows the player to step onto mines that have been marked yellow for defusal. Defusal provides players with the chance to open up a previously impassable red square, but the process takes time. First, the tower-borne solver must right-click on a red mine, nominating it as possible defusal candidate. Then, the player carrying the Bomb Defusal Kit must run out onto the yellow square and interact with a large silver object at its center. Timing is absolutely critical, and the time constraints are three-fold: the Bomb Defusal Kit buff lasts only ten seconds, the defusal interaction is a five-second channel, and a square can only be yellow for ten seconds at a time.
Coordination is key here, so make sure that the mine is yellowed ahead of time and that the person with the Defusal Kit is ready to go. One strategy is that the solver in the tower “yellows” a mine shortly before a Drone is defeated, at approximately 5% health or so. Again, however, the defusal buff is randomly applied to a party member, so everyone must be alert. Also note that if anyone without a Defusal Kit steps onto a yellowed mine, the mine will detonate.
Colonel Vorgath will periodically exclaim, “Reinforcements, Deploy!” This will signal the arrival of Defected Imperial Troopers. These are melee adds that are easily AoE’d down, but they still need to be killed as quickly as possible. Alternatively, Colonel Vorgath can shout, “Stealth Systems, Engage!” This signals the deployment of even more dangerous enemies, Imperial Assassin Droids. Two will spawn and slowly make their way towards your Operations group. They always spawn a good distance away from your group, so assign someone to pay attention for the exclamation and make the group aware of their presence. If these droids make it to within five meters of a player, they will self-destruct for massive damage. During our encounter, we chose to Crowd Control one of the droids while quickly killing the other one. Either way, make sure that they die quickly and well away from your group.
This phase continues until your Operations group clears the other side of the minefield. Once you’re across, it’s time to fight Colonel Vorgath himself.
Phase 2: Colonel Vorgath
The first thing players should do as they exit the minefield area is to deactivate the turrets surrounding the minefield. This is done by interacting with the console on the right-hand wall as you exit. With the turret deactivated, the player that was solving the minefield can now rejoin the rest of the Operations group.
With the mines cleared and the turrets offline, only Colonel Vorgath remains. Have your main tank engage him, with rest of the group applying light DPS to give the tank time to build threat. Our Operations group found that a five-count is generally enough time to build sufficient aggro. The Colonel is also accompanied by two adds, but they die very quickly and so aren't much of a concern.
As for Colonel Vorgath, he has a few simple mechanics to keep in mind. First, your melee DPS should be aware that the Colonel frequently employs an AoE knockback. While we were unable to determine a specific interval for this ability, it was used often enough to warrant constant concern.
The second ability that Colonel Vorgath features is Marked Explosion. This ability attaches an explosive device to a random Operations group member that detonates after three seconds. This deals AoE damage to anyone nearby, so the afflicted player needs to move away from everyone as quickly as possible. The range on this ability is uncertain, so just move as far away from the rest of your Operations Group as possible and you should be fine. Defensive cooldowns will help the sustained damage from this blast, but healers should be aware that the blast will hit relatively hard.
Third, Colonel Vorgath will change targets randomly during the encounter, which will require the tank to taunt him back. Before the tank regains Vorgath’s attention, the targeted player will take a significant amount of damage. Healers should be mindful of this fact and strive to keep everyone topped off for most of the encounter.
Lastly, at around 50% life Colonel Vorgath will raise four Stationary Turrets, two on each side of the walls leading out onto the minefield. These generally die very quickly, but we recommend focus-firing down each one in succession, enabling you to return to DPSing Colonel Vorgath down as quickly as possible.
It is important to note that Vorgath’s enrage timer counts down from the first moment you enter the arena. Your Operations group will have about a six-minute window to cross the minefield, disable the turrets and defeat the Colonel. The enrage timer applies to both Vorgath and to the field’s turrets. This means that if your group does not move fast enough, the turrets can and will begin to one-shot members of your party.
In review, be mindful of the following mechanics during the encounter:
- Kill Defected Imperial Troopers and Imperial Assassin Droids as soon as possible; the latter will explode within five meters of your Operations group.
- Do not step on any square that isn't green. Stepping on a yellow or red square will result in an explosion, followed by death. Yellow squares are only safe to players with the temporary Bomb Defusal Kit buff!
- The Imperial Demolitions Drone has a Cleave that can be interrupted; do so.
- Colonel Vorgath will attach an explosive to players, represented by a bright red circle. When afflicted, move away from your teammates.
With these recommendations and a little luck, you’ll see the Colonel defeated in no time! Once he is down, you will be well on your way toward the final challenge – Warlord Kephess himself.